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The History Portal

History by Frederick Dielman
History by Frederick Dielman


History (derived from Ancient Greek ἱστορία (historía) 'inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation') is the systematic study and documentation of the human past.

The period of events before the invention of writing systems is considered prehistory. "History" is an umbrella term comprising past events as well as the memory, discovery, collection, organization, presentation, and interpretation of these events. Historians seek knowledge of the past using historical sources such as written documents, oral accounts, art and material artifacts, and ecological markers. History is incomplete and still has debatable mysteries.

History is an academic discipline which uses a narrative to describe, examine, question, and analyze past events, and investigate their patterns of cause and effect. Historians debate which narrative best explains an event, as well as the significance of different causes and effects. Historians debate the nature of history as an end in itself, and its usefulness in giving perspective on the problems of the present.

Stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the tales surrounding King Arthur), are usually classified as cultural heritage or legends. History differs from myth in that it is supported by verifiable evidence. However, ancient cultural influences have helped create variant interpretations of the nature of history, which have evolved over the centuries and continue to change today. The modern study of history is wide-ranging, and includes the study of specific regions and certain topical or thematic elements of historical investigation. History is taught as a part of primary and secondary education, and the academic study of history is a major discipline in universities.

Herodotus, a 5th-century BC Greek historian, is often considered the "father of history", as one of the first historians in the Western tradition, though he has been criticized as the "father of lies". Along with his contemporary Thucydides, he helped form the foundations for the modern study of past events and societies. Their works continue to be read today, and the gap between the culture-focused Herodotus and the military-focused Thucydides remains a point of contention or approach in modern historical writing. In East Asia, a state chronicle, the Spring and Autumn Annals, was reputed to date from as early as 722 BC, though only 2nd-century BC texts have survived. (Full article...)

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Ima Hogg, c. 1900

Ima Hogg (July 10, 1882 – August 19, 1975), known as "The First Lady of Texas", was an American society leader, philanthropist, mental health advocate, patron and collector of the arts, and one of the most respected women in Texas during the 20th century. Hogg was an avid art collector, and owned works by Picasso, Klee, and Matisse, among others. Hogg donated hundreds of pieces of artwork to Houston's Museum of Fine Arts and served on a committee to plan the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. An enthusiastic collector of early American antiques, she also served on a committee tasked with locating historical furniture for the White House. She restored and refurbished several properties, including the Varner plantation and Bayou Bend, which she later donated to Texas arts and historical institutions who maintain the facilities and their collections today. Hogg received numerous awards and honors, including the Louise E. du Pont Crowninshield Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Santa Rita Award from the University of Texas System, and an honorary doctorate in fine arts from Southwestern University.

Hogg was the daughter of Sarah Ann "Sallie" Stinson and James Stephen "Big Jim" Hogg, later attorney general and governor of the state. Ima Hogg's first name was taken from The Fate of Marvin, an epic poem written by her uncle Thomas Hogg. She endeavored to downplay her unusual name by signing her first name illegibly and having her stationery printed with "I. Hogg" or "Miss Hogg". Although it was rumored that Hogg had a sister or sisters, whose names was suggested to be "Hoosa Hogg", "Ura Hogg" or "Wera Hogg", she had only brothers. Hogg's father left public office in 1895, and soon after, her mother was diagnosed with tuberculosis. When Sarah died later that year, Jim Hogg's widowed elder sister moved to Austin to care for the Hogg children. Between 1899 and 1901, Hogg attended the University of Texas at Austin; she then moved to New York City to study piano and music theory for two years. After her father's death in 1906, she traveled to Europe and spent two years studying music under Xaver Scharwenka in Vienna. When she returned to Texas, she established and managed the Houston Symphony Orchestra and served as president of the Symphony Society. (Full article...)
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